BY SINDISO DUBE/WINSTONE ANTONIO
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director Nicholas Moyo has hailed artists for keeping the on-going Intwasa Arts Festival KoBulawayo alive for the past 17 years.
Moyo, who is the festival’s founding director, told NewsDay Life & Style on the sidelines of the festival’s official opening ceremony on Tuesday night at the Bulawayo Theatre, that the fiesta was driven by the sector and the artists who play a bigger role for it to happen.
“It is exciting that Intwasa has turned 17 this year. I think what is unique about the festival is that it is driven by the sector, it is largely funded by the sector and one can say it’s poorly-funded, but note the biggest funder is the artist,” he said.
“Artists have kept Intwasa going because that is the founding principle of Intwasa, it is totally owned by the artists.”
Moyo said he was humbled by the festival’s growth.
“When you grow the brand, that is when you have other partners. Walking with Intwasa for years I am very happy to see it grow and you can tell new artists and art forms are coming,” he said.
“I see the festival has grown in terms of repertoire and its focus and ensuring that the artists are the key players.”
With the partial opening of the arts sector, this year’s edition of the festival is being held both physically and virtually.
The physical shows are being staged at the NGZ, the Bulawayo Theatre and the Zimbabwe Music Academy while the virtual ones are being streamed on the festival’s digital platforms.
As part of today’s programme, the Art Gallery will host a book launch and public reading, while the music academy will host the screening of two short films, Date Night and Mlamu Wami. At night the Bulawayo Theatre will show the film Footprint.
On Friday, the festival will kick-off with the Women’s Round Table from 10am to 4pm at the Art Gallery, while Amplifying Girls Voices Through Digital Arts will be hosted at the Bulawayo Club from 2pm to 4pm.
Later the Art Gallery will host the Women, Wine, and Words all-female show.
Meanwhile, in Harare, the virtual Shoko Festival enters its fourth day today with The Hub Unconference’s Digital Media Week running during the day until tomorrow featuring various discussions and panellists.
Yesterday (Wednesday) part of the programming included The Underground, a unique selection of artists exploring sub-genres in dancehall and Zim hip-hop, such as Kadja, Lady B, King Her, Blacperl, Dingo and Case BTZ, among others.
Today it will be the much-anticipated Shoko Roast, When Arts Meet Politics show curated by Simuka Comedy, as popular local celebrities get together for an epic roast of controversial politician and president of Labour Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) party, Linda Masarira.
Masarira will be grilled by top comedians Doc Vikela, Admire “Bhutisi” Kuzhangaira and Kaden, filmmaker Joe Njagu, Munya Noble Stylz, and Charmaine Mujeri.
Another festival highlight today is The Africa Satire Convention that brings together satirists from across the continent, among them Ugandan poet and human rights activist Stella Nyanzi, who said she was excited to share her experiences on writing political satire about Uganda’s dictatorship.
Tomorrow the Mash Ups Night will bring the weekend flavour as the festival presents a show featuring an artistic collaboration of the likes of Sylent Nqo, Djembe Monks, Thandy Dhlana, Thandeka, Feli Nandi, GZE, Jungle Loco and Dancehall Kedha, among others.
The festival reaches its climax on Saturday in a jam-packed Peace In The Hood show with lots of plot twists for the virtual audience.
The show will feature dancehall singer Tocky Vibes, Van Choga, Daruler, Tanto Wave and Voltz JT, among others.
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